Saturday, March 03, 2007

Before and After

Well, it's time to answer the question everyone wants to know...

How is Philip?!

Philip is great! And to prove it, I'm posting his before and after pictures. Thanks to the prayers of our many, many friends and family his recovery has actually gone remarkably, miraculously perhaps, well. His surgeon is truly surprised at the lack of bleeding, oozing, swelling and bruising (and boy are those four words fun to say all together in a row like that!). He had some stitches on the outer part of his lip where the lip revision was done. Those were removed on Monday and a little bit of swelling, redness and scarring can still be seen in that area. The inside of his mouth where the fistula was repaired and the bone graft put in is full of the nifty dissolvable stitches which are still quite prominent. The place on his hip where the bone was removed for the graft has about an inch and a quarter long scar which was actually glued together. There are two layers of stitches internally and the outer layer of skin was, well, super glued back on. Ask Philip about it, he'd be glad to show you that scar. After all, not many kids can say a doctor removed part of his hip bone and glued him back together!
Mobility-wise he's doing fantastic as well. He limps now only when he's trying to elicit sympathy and he's been pain-free since a few days after the surgery. So the biggest problem is that he is not allowed to engage in any activity that may result in a jarring of the graft site for another 4 1/2 weeks. He looks fine, feels fine but is very limited in what he is allowed to do and is stuck on a soft diet.

Well enough of the gory details, now for the gory photos. This is a picture of his lip before the surgery. Notice the right side has a bit of a peak left by the scar from his prior surgery. I had a great picture of Philip smiling but it just didn't capture that peak as well so you get his serious look here.
And in this picture the peak is gone. There is a bit of redness where they removed the stitches and it is still a wee bit swollen but there is a discernable difference in the shape of his lip.
Here is the before picture of his palate. If you look closely you can see a thin scar running all through the middle of the palate. That was from the first surgery which closed the original cleft which ran all the way from the front of his mouth to the very back of his palate. This picture shows the fistula - or small hole - left by the previous two surgeries. It's barely discernable behind that tooth. The crooked little tooth under my thumb is the site of the bone graft.
Here you can see that they pulled that tooth out (it was just a baby tooth and they gave him a buck for it). The brownish spot in there is the bone graft site and the brownish stuff is the stitches. The hole is also now closed. You can see the thickness of his lip in that area which is slightly swollen but is still much thicker than the rest of his lip due to a build-up of scar tissue from the previous surgeries. This was the one thing they were not able to correct this time around and will require one more very short little surgery (10 minute procedure) in a couple of month's time.
He has an adult tooth poised in his gums to come down right into the graft site. The tooth will actually complete the binding process of the graft into the surrounding palate and gums and it is what determined the timing of this surgery. I'll have to add in a picutre of his glued together hip but, believe it or not, I don't seem to have any pictures of that. I'm sure Philip will be happy to oblige me tomorrow...
As you can see Philip certainly was more than happy to show off the scar:
And here's a close-up of it. The white-ish stuff is dried up glue that is flaking off.

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